Court rules in favour of national arts festival

Court ruled in favour of National Arts Festival. Photo: Stock Image

Virtual National Arts Festival extends shows to 16 July

Art lovers can still buy tickets and passes, and catch a growing and expanding virtual Fringe which which runs until 31 July.

Court rules in favour of national arts festival

Court ruled in favour of National Arts Festival. Photo: Stock Image

The Virtual National Arts Festival has announced that content created the first ever online festival will be available till 16 July.

This means that new audiences can also still buy tickets and passes. They also can watch a growing and expanding virtual Fringe, which runs until 31 July.
The online space definitely has its advantages, as artistic director Rucera Seethal points out.

“Creating a festival in the online space means we have a rich and exciting body of work gathered in one place,” said Seethal.

“We are able to continue sharing that in a way that we would not otherwise be able to with a live festival.” 

Unmissable shows

Some of the unmissable shows include the works of the Standard Bank Young Artists. They are:

  • Jefferson Tshabalala
  • Lulu Mlangeni
  • Sisonke Xonti
  • Nthato Mokgata
  • Blessing Ngobeni.

Audiences have also flocked to Swan Song, a collaboration between Buhle Ngaba and Nicola Pilkington. A movement piece Pest Control by Mamela Nyamza is also proving popular.

Standard Bank Jazz Festival performances include acts like Thandiswa Mazwai, Mi Casa and Grammy-award winner Jacob Collier.

Nombulumko Mngexekeze as Lady Macbeth at the 2020 Virtual National Arts Festival. Image: Nicky Newman

Adam Donen chose the Virtual National Arts Festival for the world premiere of his radio play, Nixon in Agony.

Festival Featured Artist Madosini is celebrated in an 11-episode documentary series called Songs are Like the Grass.

vFringe is growing

The vFringe continues to release more work. Each show is produced entirely by the artists and 90% of the ticket revenue goes directly to the artists.

The Standard Bank Ovation Awards recognise excellence in vFringe shows and a judging panel will start to award them this week. This will culminate in a live awards ceremony for the overall vFringe Standard Bank Ovation winners on 31 July.

Artists can continue to sign up to the vFringe. There is a cut-off date of 25 July for work to be considered for the Standard Bank Ovation Awards. 

Public reaction ‘positive’

Festival CEO Monica Newton said the reaction from the public had been very positive.

“Since 25 June, visitors have joined us from all over Africa and the world,” Newton said.

The new platform was not without its teething problems, however, we have already presented hundreds of hours of entertainment to our audience. We are thrilled to see that the vFringe is doing really well. Fringe artists are finding it a great platform to securely stage and market their work.

“Mounting the festival with just over 100 days to prepare has been an incredible challenge. However, we have learnt that there is ongoing value in an online arts platform.”

“With the arts community locally and abroad grappling with the devastation of coronavirus pandemic, we do see significant opportunities in the digital space now and in future.” 

Here’s how to be a virtual festivalgoer

Ticket and pass holders can return to the platform at any time until 16 July to watch on-demand shows. Audiences can also still buy single tickets and passes for the curated programme up until 16 July.

vFringe tickets, which are all single purchases, are available until 31 July.